Exercising and Dieting with PMS During Menstrual Periods

Do you miss working out because of your menstrual cycle? Do you binge eat on poor choices because of your cravings? Women are much more active than a few decades ago and many are less likely to let their cycle affect their lives. Exercise is usually the last thing you will feel like doing when you are dealing with PMS but it seems that the release of serotonin and other 'good' chemicals which occur through exercise will actually help you with the symptoms of PMS. You may have to go lighter or easier but you still should try to get a moderate workout in every few days during your PMS and cycle.

Diet is another factor which is affected by the cravings for salt and or sugars. These items including caffeine may actually worsen your symptoms even though you want them so badly. Trying to lessen and avoid these foods is your first step but you can also help your PMS by eating the right foods! One way to go is to indulge in high magnesium foods which help relax the muscles in turn helping with the effects of PMS cramps. Foods such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, greens such as spinach, broccoli, kelp and swiss chard, legumes such as soy, black and navy beans are very high in magnesium. Chinook and baked halibut are also great choices higher in magnesium and a great protein choice. You can make up a couple weeks worth of great dishes based solely on these foods listed.

I personally take extra magnesium, up to 1000mg per day pre, during and post cycle. In some cases magnesium will also prevent migraines due to the muscle relaxant effects which are the main reason I use it. I will get migraines every month and used to until I discovered this solution.

Water is essential for helping you through your menstruation but many women avoid it due to the bloat they get. This worsens your PMS symptoms. You will not bloat more if you drink more water and most women bloat regardless but there are some great herbal teas which help control water gains during your cycle. These teas are normally called PMS or diuretic teas and include natural ingredients such as black cohosh and dandelion flower and/or root.

You can eat dandelion leaves for a similar effect and if you look very closely, those spring salad mixes have some in there! Steaming them is also a great way to eat them and is very healthy. I like to make them in minestrone type soups. So please do keep up with drinking a liter or 2 of water per day during PMS and this will help decrease symptoms. If you are concerned about water gain you can consider some dandelion greens or a PMS tea.

Sleep is a simple thing which we are told in general to get 7-8 hours of per day for overall health and well being. Well this cannot be truer when you are on your cycle. You need rest along with that mild exercise and moderate diet which is filled with magnesium sources. These combined with proper hydration should help against the discomfort and pains caused by PMS.

By Linda Cusmano

 

 

 

 



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